The recent bankruptcy of the Spanish-Australian consortium that operates the Indiana Toll Road is drawing new players to the table. Potential investors from California, New York, Italy, United Arab Emirates and Canada, along with separate groups from Spain and Australia, are preparing to bid on the roadway lease once it goes up for auction, Reuters reports.
The current operator, the Indiana Toll Road Concession Co., leased the 157-mile toll road for $3.85 billion in 2006 but owes an astonishing $6 billion in debt after just eight years. The initial lease was scheduled to last 75 years through 2081.
What sticks in the craw for truckers, who fought against the lease, is that a $14 toll that existed when the lease was signed increased 176 percent during ITRCC’s reign to $38.70.
With the toll road operator filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in September and working with creditors to restructure its debt payments, Reuters says a new bidder could potentially pay $4 billion to $5 billion at auction.
There’s no word yet on what will happen to toll rates or how much profit a new investor would be guaranteed under a new deal.
The list of potential investors contains some big names in the world of infrastructure and toll roads.
A subsidiary of Cintra of Spain, whose parent company teamed with Macquarie of Australia to lease the roadway in 2006, has partnered with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Brookfield Asset Management of Canada to take a run at a new lease, Reuters reported.
Australian firm Hastings Funds Management has teamed with the California Public Employees Retirement System and Italian firm Autostrade to make a bid, according to the report.
Abertis of Spain has reportedly partnered with the Ontario (Canada) Municipal Employees Retirement System and IFM of Australia to submit a proposal.
And last but not least, the Alberta (Canada) Investment Management Corp. has partnered with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority from the United Arab Emirates.
Indiana Toll Road failing despite 176 percent toll increase for trucks
From the Land Line Media Blog: The privatized Indiana Toll Road goes belly up
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